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Arts and Entertainment

August 30, 2013

Civil War songs to be heard Monday

The Windham-based 77th Regimental Balladeers perform tunes of the Civil War era at 1 p.m. Monday at the Historical Society of the Town of Middletown at 778 Cemetery Road in Margaretville.

Admission is $5, with children younger than 12 are admitted free.

This concert of the “heart songs of America” will close out a summer in which the Society paid tribute to the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with an exhibit on Middletown’s experience during this period, and with several programs on various aspects of the war. Saturday from 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and Monday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. will be the final opportunities to view the exhibit.

The Balladeers are celebrating their 17th year of preserving the songs, history and spirit of the Antebellum and Civil War period. In that time they have presented more than 350 performances. The band uses the original musical arrangements and lyrics to capture how people of that period talked, their rhythms, accents, beliefs, their spirituality, motives and patriotism.

The troupe is fresh from a series of concerts at Gettysburg National Military Park where they have been recognized for their authentic portrayal of the music of the period. They perform with fiddles, guitars, banjos, harmonicas, tin whistles, harp, bodhran, bones, bass, trumpet, dulcimer and Estey field organ.

The original 77th New York Regimental band was composed of military personnel from Fulton, Essex and Saratoga counties who fought in the Civil War. The group banded together in 1872 as part of the Survivors Association of the 77th Regiment. It flourished into the early 1900s.

Today’s band members include John and Sharon Quinn, Bill and Barbara Lonecke, Jim Broden, Gisella Montanez-Case, Joyce Cockerham, Jennifer Brylinski, Frank and John Swarthout, Ray Smith, John Kenosian, Gus Truin and Ron Burch.

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